Excessive screen time and lower psychosocial well-being among preschool children
Erat Nergiz, Meryem
Foto Özdemir, Dilşad
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CitationTezol, O., Yildiz, D., Yalcin, S., Oflu, A., Nergiz, M. E., Caylan, N., ... & Ozdemır, D. F. (2022). Excessive screen time and lower psychosocial well-being among preschool children. Archives de Pédiatrie, 29(1), 61-66.
Objective: Too much screen time is a common and severe threat to child health and excessive screen exposure exists in the early childhood population in Turkey. We aimed to investigate the associations between excessive screen time and psychosocial well-being in a sample of Turkish preschool children. Methods: Mothers and their healthy children aged 2-5 years who applied to general pediatric outpatient clinics for well-child examinations were enrolled in this descriptive cross-sectional study. Children with a daily screen time of less than 1 h (low) or more than or equal to 4 h (excessive) were included. Psychosocial well-being was assessed using the parent version of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. Results: In all, 220 mother-child pairs participated in this study. Emotional symptoms, conduct problems, peer relationship problems, and total difficulties scores were significantly higher in the children with excessive screen time (p<0.05), while the hyperactivity-inattention and prosocial scores were not different between the low and excessive screen time groups (p>0.05). After adjusting for potential confounders, the children with excessive screen time had significantly increased odds ratios for having conduct and peer relationship problems (OR [95% CI]: 2.62 [1.11-6.19], p = 0.028 and 2.57 [1.25-5.26], p = 0.010, respectively). Conclusion: Turkish preschool children with excessive screen time were significantly more likely to have poor psychosocial well-being. Preschool children with behavioral problems should be evaluated for excessive screen time.